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Member Service improvements

aspirant


giffgaff is growing... very fast, which is fantastic news. I wish I could share with you exactly how well we're doing but as we've said before it's too commerically sensitive to reveal our exact numbers. Suffice to say we are well ahead of where we thought we'd be at this stage.

However success does bring with it its own set of problems. One of those is that in last 3 months we have seen a very large increase in the volume of account related queries, and port in requests - due to all those new members coming on board.

Port in requests in particular are very manual and time-consuming to process. This has put a lot of pressure on our valiant Member Service agents - who deal with both queries and ports.

In addition, new Ofcom regulations are about to come in (from April 11th) which require all mobile companies to process port in and port out requests twice as fast as they do currently. Again, this is great news for giffgaff (anything that makes it easier and faster for customers to leave mobile compnaies that are failing them is all right with us). But it does mean we have to make sure we can deliver against these timelines.

So to maintain service levels, and fulfil our obligations to Ofcom we are making some improvements to our Member Support operation.

1) Port in process improvements. From April 11th new Ofcom regulations  mean that port in requests must be completed within 1 working day (currently it is 2 working days).

In order to make sure we can do this we are bringing on a small team of new agents who will focus exclusively on ports.The new thing for us is that these agents will be based in India. Both the India and the Derry based agents are provided by the same supplier. So we have complete consistency in approach and management between the two sites. I have personally visited the team in India and can absolutely vouch for their commitment to customer service and professionalism, I look forward to having them join our extended team.

The main reason for locating these porting agents in India is cost. As a low cost business giffgaff needs to keep its operating costs low, and India is a cheaper location than Derry. However we also get a potential benefit from the time difference. India is 5 and a half hours ahead of the UK, so as a unified team it means we have the option of having a working day that starts at 4am UK time. This means we have greater flexibility to turn ports around in the required timeframe.

Having the Indian team focus exclusively on ports also means that the Derry team can focus on account queries - which are typically more complex individual cases which require a deeper understanding of giffgaff operations. To head off a question that I'm sure some will ask... this does not mean that we are looking to move the entire support operation to India in the future. We may expand their remit beyond ports by the end of this year, but we will always keep the Derry team as we recognise that service is not all about cost. There is a benefit for members in having agents who are closer to the core business, and that will not be compromised.

We are currently setting up and training the Indian team on the port process. The first day of porting being handled by the Indian team will be April 4th. Once they are all up and running I will introduce our extended team in the same kind of way we did last year.


2) More agents in Derry. Since we introduced the agent team to the communuity at the end of last year we have increased the Derry team by 30%. Given the recent continued increase in our customer numbers we are going to increase the team again by another 20%. Our new recruits will start in the first weeks of April, and I'll introduce them when they are on board.

3) Longer 'opening times' for agents. We have looked at the trends of when account queries are submitted and are changing our shift patterns for Derry agents, to better cover the periods of peak demand. This also means that we can be more efficient - which in turn means we can extend the overall the time the agents are online.

From Saturday 26th March Derry based agents will be available until 10pm seven days a week (currently they finish at 7 pm).

These changes will mean that we can keep giving members a brilliant personal service even as we grow rapidly as a business.

Thanks

338 Comments
phenomenon
@robbie please read your point no.2 above, giffgaff claim to be different, so you can say james contradicts himself but in the same post you contradict what giffgaff claim to be. Dont claim to be different then complain when we dont treat you the same as we do other companies. Someone said customers cant have it allways, same works with giffgaff.
head honcho

in reply to robbie28 on page 17. My opinion isnt that its not a good move, but its a move which i think shouldnt go any further any time soon. I think any more of the percentage of giffgaff oporations moving overseas would cause concern to the fact that giffgaff is a UK company, as this would be scrutinised if you move more oporations overseas, and that is something i personaly dont like.

 

But its ok for now, and i understand why giffgaff are doing this and i totaly support it at this stage. To be honest, we wont even recognise the difference with the small percentage that it is at the moment, but if this goes any further, my back will be slowly turning... 

augur

aandms can you explain where robbie contradicted himself? I can't find what you mean

student

Robbie I think your digging a hole for GiffGaff and in my opinion that responce cam across a little aggressive. I would like to know how the following can be true about your ethics:

 

We genuinely want to be the most environmentally friendly mobile network out there. We try to avoid excess in any area, and we think that makes us a better alternative"

 

To highlight this a tip from:

London to your uk support center by car: 0.03 tonnes

London to your uk support center by rail: 0.04 tonnes

 

London to India by plane: 4.20 tonnes

 

Where do the ethics come into play with that? Are they simply forgotten? There are a number of posts which highlight that this all seems a bit of a joke, I am really upset with you GiffGaff. One point i would like to make Robbie is that yes we buy products of services from abroad but those companies serve multiple countries. GiffGaff does not, it gets 100% of its revenue from UK users.

 

Maybe Robbie you could have discussed this with us before you just thought you would push your ideas through and consult your members before hand. (If you actually claim to listen to you members) I really do hope this backfires on you. I wont be doing anything to promote you, i did but wont now.

student

@gawright

 

What Narks me is we were not consulted its being done if we like it or not.

phenomenon
@gawright read point 2. Giffgaff wanting to be treated the same but say they are different to other companies/networks elsewhere. People/companies that are different get treated different.
augur

coolkeith, a one off trip to India isn't going to make that much difference and it cannot be seen in isolation.

 

If we're discussing ethics, then what if the Indian person employed needs the job more than the UK person who would've got the job? This is speculation as I have no idea how things work in India, but if that person remained unemployed in India, would they be worse off than the person who remains unemployed in the UK with our welfare system. Do they have a welfare system that is equal to ours in India?  I'm all for supporting UK jobs where possible, but if we're getting hung up on what's ethical, is it ethical not to give the job to the person who needs it most (providing they can do the job)?

 

enigma

@robbie

 

Firstly, a server is not a taxpayer. It does not earn a living. It does not have a home or a family to support. Nothing more needs to be said other than that.

 

Secondly, let's have a quick look at my comment about your new head office positions. I state:

 

"From the o2 website I can see giffgaff are currently recruiting for 4 head office roles, brilliant".

 

Funny how you choose to ignore that final word, to give you the opportunity to accuse me of "criticising you" for creating these jobs. Thanks for that.

 

Thirdly, although I was not intending on bringing this up, especially not in public, but now as you have dedicated an entire reply to insult me, I feel I must say you should certainly consider the tone in which you send PMs to your customers. I am quite thick skinned, but could have easily become insulted in the way you choose to respond to legitimate concerns.

 

augur

aandms, ok I kind of see what you mean, but I think it's a weak point. It's simply not feasible for giffgaff not to use some of the techniques used by other companies. And if we accept it from them, why not from giffgaff. They may want to be different, but nothing can be perfect

augur

jamesdn, a server may not have a family to support, but the staff required to run and maintain it do.